>> this is al jazeera. >> hello, welcome to another news hour from doha. coming up in the next 60 minutes, 50 refugees were found dead in a truck in austria. european and balkan leaders meet in vienna to discuss dealing with the refugee crisis. >> i'm jonah hull on lesbos island. the beaches are covered in life jackets and the remains of rubber boats. >> police in china arrest 12 people over a deadly warehouse
explosion that killed 139 people. >> ethiopia's race against time to save more than 1500 years of christian heritage. >> up to 50 refugees have been found dead inside a truck in austria. it appears they suffocated. it comes as european and balkan leaders are meeting at a crise summit in vienna. the u.n. refugee chief said europe's asylum system is completely dysfunctional and the e.u. needs to coordinate its response. we are covering europe's refugee crisis at every point along that perilous journey, the border between hungary, serbia and romania. we are on the greek island of
lesbos, nearly half of all reef gees arrive on that island and we are on the turkey border, many refugees are from syria, turkey is their first stop on that journey west. we were talking about before we came on the air about the fact that in that particular town now, syrian refugees outnumber the local turkish population. >> yeah, a government spokesman describes it now as a syrian town, 110,000 syrians now living here against the local turkish population originally was 108,000. it's more than doubled in four years since the syrian civil war started. in all, turkey is looking after some 2 million syrian refugees, and turkey's e.u. minister has warned that his country is now
at capacity. he says that if fighting intensify ins aleppo in northern syria, then there could be yet another million or so refugees heading this way. he's warned europe to expect more. one of the reasons a conference is being held in austria is for the european leaders to work out how to share the responsibility for looking after increasing numbers of migrants, many coming through turkey, refugee seekers that are arriving in europe, but a reminder germ chance angela merkel wanted to remember the 50 refugees found dead in a truck in and you say thea, a reminder of how perilous that journey can be. >> we're all very shaken by the news that up to 50 people lost their lives in a situation where criminals facilitating illegal border crossings didn't care about them, even though they
were on the way to places they thought they would be safe. >> turkey also has reminded the european leaders that it spent $6 billion so far looking after the syrians who were here in turkey, there's also 225,000 iraqi refugees, i should add. it said that europe's promised it $70 million to help cover the cost of looking after those syrians, but yet turkey hasn't received 1 cent of that money that's been promised. >> many thanks, indeed. let's take you live to the greek island of lesbos. jonah hull is there. a particularly hazardous point there on that desperate journeys they are making from afghan through to the european union. >> that's right, here on the northeastern shore of lesbos and the aegean, we are about 14 kilometers off the turkish coast at its nearest point. in calm weather as it is today,
this really is a refugee super highway into the european union, albeit, of course, not the country that any of them want to stay in. we've been out and about since before down, we've encountered hundreds of new arrivals on what is turning into a record day, there have been perhaps thousands who have made land, owl on an island in which the authorities are completely overwhelmed, struggling to cope. there is really nothing here for these people and a long, hard road ahead. >> they emerge in the thin light of dawn. new arrivals, is this still in life vests on the greek island of lesbos. >> where do you come from? >> syria. >> syria. >> from syria? >> yes. >> how was it coming over? >> not good. >> why? >> because the waves, so it was quite hard. >> what are you looking for? >> the nearest police station. >> i think you've got two or
three more hours walking ahead of you. >> all right, thank you very much. >> where are you from? >> syria, we are refugees. >> bye-bye. >> we went 40-45 on a boat, rubber boat, inflated, so it was going up and down and it was during the night, children, women, pregnant, that was the worst part, i believe for everyone. >> we've been on the road for an hour now. as you can see, the sun just coming up, we passed five, six groups, maybe 150 new arrivals altogether, groups that multiplied throughout the day, more than a thousand newcomers on this island every day. >> men, women and children, the beaches covered in life jackets and the remains of rubber boats, relentless waves of people, washing up on the shores of greece.
>> are you happy to be here in greece? >> yes. >> do you feel safe now? >> yes. >> what do you think you will find here on this island? >> real life or normal life. >> help? do you think you'll find help? >> yes, maybe, yes, we need help. >> at a bend in the road, waiting for bus that is may or may not arrive, it is as if some natural disaster has occurred. after the relieve and joy of landing, these shell shocked faces belong to people who thought they'd left disaster behind. they thought they'd find more than this. >> so they arrive on the beach here elated, relieved, but soon realize that the ordeal i also about to begin again. it's a 50-kilometer route from these mountains to the main town where they will be welcomed into a squall lid refugee camp.
there's as i say very little for them there. buses run, not enough of them at irregular times. very often young children and the elderly have to make that journey by foot. it can take up to three long days. >> jonah hull on the island of lesbos. >> the hungarian prime minister's chief of staff warned the number of migrants trying to reach western europe could reach 300,000 by that the end of the year, andrew simmons is on the borders of hungary, serbia and romania. there's a particularly tricky pinch point there in hungary, because at that razor wire fence there. >> this fence is here at three and a half meters high, razor wire behind it, but it ends here. if you look in this direction, it's all secure.
it goes right around the border, not cleat yet. the prime minister said this is necessary. he spent millions of u.s. dollars on it, the precise amount isn't known. you see the serbian watch tower, that's empty, but a few steps back, and you have here, you can see it, an open walk into serbia, or alternatively, a serbian walk into hungry. if i come this way, further back a little bit further back, that is romania, another e.u. state. nothing stopping us from carrying on walking that way. this is a very vivid illustration of what the criminals con exploit in people trafficking. right now, it is a popular route, because there are places they can cross easily, but it's a possible place where they can cross. it's a possible area where as
opposition politicians are claiming would make a nonsense of the policy of the e.u. policy. has to be said that there are border guards patrolling the area. we were approached by some guards within the space of about 20 minutes here on the hungarian side and we've been approached by romanian border guards who came across to ask us what we were doing. we were quite legal here more or less and the certain side, we've heard nothing. there is an illustration of how easy it is to get into the e.u. and how open to so many more regulations that are really needed to control this crise. >> may be thanks, andrew simmons there on the border between hungary, serbia and romania. >> plenty more still to come here on this news hour. fail to mend fences, venezuela and columbia at odds over a
border dispute that led to the deportations of hundreds of colombians. >> it's been 10 years since hurricane katrina devastated this city. we'll look at why despite all the help there is now growing inequality here. >> sport coming up later. >> the u.n. special envoy to libya said that he's confident that a peace deal with be reached by mid september. he was updating the security council on talks between the two rival parliaments. a new round of discussions, the former unity government is due to start in morocco on thursday. he says that the scale of human suffering in libya is staggering and that a deal must be made to help relieve the humanitarian crisis. >> a truce between syria and
rebels and government forces has been extended. the government and hezbollah began a truce which is on the lebanese border on thursday. it's now been increased by a day to last three days. the rebels also agreed to stop shelling two towns in idlib province. >> police in china arrested 12 people after massive explosions two weeks ago. 139 people died when a warehouse storing hazardous chemicals exploded. 11 government officials are also being prosecuted over negligence. aid brown has for for us from beijing. >> in a sense, those that you would expect to be arrested have now been arrested. they include the chairman, vice chairman, as well as three deputy managers of the warehouse where all those dangerous chemicals were stored and where those twin explosions happened just over two weeks ago. on wednesday, it was announced that the man who headed the
country's work safety regulator had himself been sacked. he is a former deputy mayor, a post he held for 12 years. you sense that this investigation is going to perhaps be more open than previous similar inquiries. the authorities are being more open with the information they are releasing. we still don't know the answer to several key questions, one, why is it that so many dangerous chemicals were stored less than 800 meters away from where people were living. chinese law states that such chemicals have to be stored at least 1,000 meters away. 139 people have so far been confirmed dead. 34 are missing. most of the dead and injured of firemen. other questions, were these firemen trained to deal with a chemical disaster on this scale and why is it so many firemen
died. the government that promised a thorough investigation and also promised to tighten the regulations governing the storage of such chemicals. >> talks between the foreign ministers of colombia and venezuela have failed to resolve a dispute centered on shear shared border. venezuela closed two major crossings to stop smuggling and drug trafficking. it's deported hundreds have colombians who have never known eight other home. we have this report. >> in a panic, these men returned to the place they called home to take back hard earned belongings before venezuelan security forces return to demolish their houses. >> their fear is well justified. more than 1,000 colombians have been deported in the weeks since president maduro closed the border in the western town. in this informal settlement, military raids left behind a
desolate population, their homes destroyed, their neighbors gone. >> if if it's a shanty, they scribbled d. some said it meant demolition. if it was a brickhouse, an r., they said it meant reviewed. the red dot was a consensus, it said they would give us a house because i am venezuelan. who knows what they will give us. >> after meeting for nearly six hours, the foreign ministers of venezuela and colombia weren't able to reach a deal, but agreed on more talks, and that allegations of human rights abuses would be looked into. >> we're convinced that the closure of the border and we have communicated this to the venezuelan authorities is not the way forward. we don't believe that it's the way to combat smuggling. there's a lot of legal movement along the border. many people who live on one side or on the other who study on one side or live on the other and they need to be able to move.
>> due to the inability of the venezuela authorities to control the violent crime along the border and narco traffic from colombia, we are forced to close the border. >> no date has been set for reopening the border and the impact can be felt at all levels. >> the streets are usually bustling with kit. one week into the closure, the streets have been taken over by the military. shops are closed down because business is down or because its employees, many of them colombian citizens have been deported. >> i don't know where i live now. they destroyed my home p.m. i stay here or there. my wife is in colombia. i see no future. >> closing the border and expelling illegal colombian citizens are all part of president maduro's in tent to end paramilitary activity. unless both countries can reach
agreement, the problems won't be involved and the mysteries here will only increase. santonio at the border between venezuela and colombia. >> hodges marched in mexico for the justice of 43 missing students. the students disappeared in the southwestern state almost a year ago. the case has become a rallying point for mexicans frustrated by drugs and gang violence and the show pace of justice. >> u.s. president barack obama returns to new other loans thursday to mark the 10t 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. it killed more than a thousand people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. the city has since made a steady recovery, but as andy gallagher reports now, many challenges remain. >> on the bustling streets of the historic french quarter, the signs of recovery are obvious
almost it is a tourist hot spot and on the banks of the mississippi, the sounds es. >> music hails the return of new orleans. it's a far cry from the desperate day that is followed katrina when 80% of the city lay underwater and the u.s. government criticized for its slow response. over a thousand residents died, more were displaced, many never to return. entire communities lay in ruins. >> how are we doing on produce? >> we're doing well. >> one of the city's oldest black owned businesses hailed as a symbol of recovery, there is lingering criticism. this landmark has been in the family for generations. she says greedy developers are putting profit before people. >> all those people got paid. at the end of the day, some people are still left without homes, education. it's getting better, but it's still not where it needs to be. >> in the nearby by water neighborhood, in a influx of new arrivals eager to buy cheap
historic homes have made things worse for the poor. this community is now so expensive may not have been forced to the suburbs. >> gentrification has been a powerful force. house prices in this neighborhood have ricin 75% in the fast few years. researchers say wealth disparity in this city is growing faster than anywhere else in the united states. new orleans is now more unequal than before hurricane katrina. >> he can no longer afford to wife a house. >> the school right here across the street abandoned. it could be open for children. it could be a resource center, could be a facility to where they come after school and just learn and get tutoring and stuff like that. they don't have that. >> it's clear new orleans still has a long way to go, but even
the city's most powerful officials mean that the poor are not well served. >> it's not surprised that the people hurting more before the storm are hurting more after the storm. this is a universal fact of income inequality. >> the inequalities this city is now facing may be its lasting legacy. new orleans, louisiana. >> let's get news of a potential hurricane that could hit the united states next week. >> nothing to compare with katrina, of course, it might scrape into category one status and still a long time to go. if there is going to be a hurricane, it will be sometime during monday. it will result from this messy looking thing, really, this is tropical storm erika, working
its way across the caribbean. continuing this forecast, strong winds, heavy rains, should be nasty, but in actual fact, the heavy rain between 75 and 150 millimeters of rain that we're likely to experience from erika as it moves across the region, because much of the the caribbean is in drought. once it gets towards the bahamas, after that, you start to cross warm water, between 30-32 degrees celsius, slightly above average. could it then reinvigorate, form into a hurricane. some say yes, many no. we'll see. for the time being, we've got heavy rain moving across the island, so there could be localized flooding associated with that. >> we have had storms
developing, a has boob sweeping across the city. >> conservationist the are struggling to preserve buildings in a town many ethiopians call africa's jerusalem. charles central ford reports. >> >> it's the spiritual home for many christians from around the world. the 11 churches were carved out the mountain side in the 11t 11th century. these ancient places of worship represent were built so
christians didn't have to risk the dangerous pilgrimage to the holy land. >> the places of pilgrimage for ethiopian christians, around the world are literally crumbling away. >> the rock is highly susceptible to moisture. in terms of seismic activity, a slight earthquake would destroy the place. the fact is when you're dealing with natural strata in the terms of an historic building rather than a mine or a tunnel, there's nothing you can do. you can't line it with concrete and steel bars, you'd destroy
the monument. anthony shows us. >> if we start losing material like this right through here, the only future for that without some sort of intervention, is this. the idea of the bandage is to hold it in place, until we can get there to repair it. every time it rains, at more falls off. if we want to do this, it would be a catastrophe. >> i'm lucky because i come from this area. this heritage is a very big thing for us. >> a number of churches have been covered by temporary shelters to protect them while the work is done. close by, people pray. >> the king didn't just build the church as a human being.
he built them with the help of god. >> it is one of the first ever unesco world heritage site, preserving this for ethiopians of every generation is a challenge they pray they can meet. >> some mistakes made an earlier conservation efforts haven't helped the churches. >> this is a living heritage where religious practices are done on a daily basis, plus services have been conducted to this place. this site is a very important
place. the most serious problem for the church is human causes, induced by human and natural causes. the more serious one is the cracks. these cracks are happened as a result of water infiltrating, rain water infiltration on the churches, and also there is vegetation problem, the root of the vegetation on the roofs also part of the reason for the cracks. now we need a team to investigate and make intervention. >> still to come on the program: >> in new delhi, i'll take a look at why lack of hygiene and
unicef's representative from macedonia said the most vulnerable of course are children. >> these children are vulnerable and we have to make sure that they're rights are fully respected and they are refreshing the protection to ensure that they don't face any additional trauma. we need to help them really to help them overcome this whole anxiety and distress they have been through when they started their trip, their journey with their families. what we think is that it is extremely important that for the e.u. has put in place a plan of action to protect and to support the countries who are receiving this unusual number of migrants.
we at unicef fully support this line of action, because it makes sure that children wherever we go, they are protected and their best interest is protected. this is for us, and we work very closely with the e.u. on that to insure that is protect and the best interest of the child is really taken into consideration in all the measures that the countries safe in to support and to facilitate the journey of migrants. >> isil fighters say they killed two iraqi field commander and five of their bodyguards in anbar. prime minister abadi called to retake iraq's largest oil refinery in baiji. >> iraq's predominantly shia militias prepare for an assault
on baiji city. this is the image that they want you to see, that they are confident, and ready to defeat isil. prime minister abadi said that this battle will decide the future of the islamic state fighters in iraq. he met with senior officers on the outskirts of baiji tuesday. >> now we will plan to secure the whole situation, as the enemy have tried to find a break from the pressure it has been under. the operations are going smoothly and the enemy has been besieged there. that is why they are moving from anbar to baiji, trying to open another front. the ability of the forces and the popular mobilization forces to defeat the enemy's plans is a great success. >> but the country has been here before. the oil refinery and town kilometers away from each other have changed hands several times. neither the iraqi security forces or the islamic state have ever been in full control.
the oil refinery is a major source of income for the islamic state, but retaking it and holding it will be a big victory for iraq. >> in anbar, people flee the violence but are held up with the last bridge crossing between the western province and baghdad. size as i will have killed military commanders in an attack that's seen as a serious blow to iraqi security forces. while losing experienced commanders and a sign that isil is far from defeated. >> president barack obama said he's hard broken over the killing of a journalists and cameraman during a live broadcast in virginia. the shooter used an illegally obtained gun as i filmed himself shooting the journalist and cameraman. he later turned the gun on
himself and was found by police. he said the attack was in revenge for the recent shooting of nine black church goers in south carolina. meanwhile vigils have been held for his victims as attention is turned to the problem of gun violence in the united states and reignited debate over firearms control. >> this is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the united states. while there is no piece of legislation that will end owl violence in this country, there are common sense things that only congress can do that we know would have a tangible impact in reducing gun violence in this country. >> police in hong kong charged three students who led pro
democracy protests last year with unlawful assembly. they are accused of storming government headquarters court yard last september. they demonstrated for free and open elections. beijing says candidates have to be approved by a pro china panel first. >> stock markets in asia traded steadily thursday after days of volatility. investors in the region are worried about china's economic slow down. one country struggling is indonesia. >> their factory had been producing lighting equipment for more than 20 years, but earlier this month, 460 workers were told the factory would close because aflac of demand. ment workers still can't believe it. >> i'm so sad.
i've worked here for 23 years. i can't bear the news. i thought everything was going well. i feel really betrayed. >> labor unions estimate around 100,000 workers in indonesia have been laid off since its occurrence went into a free-fall against the u.s. dollar. factories can no longer afford to buy them. >> to make sure the crisis of 1998 does not repeat, we urge be the government to implement regulations so workers don't lose jobs. that's why minimum wages should be brought to decent levels. >> the government refuses to call it a crise yet but clearly indonesia's booming economy is going for serious turbulence. the government calls on everyone to stay calm, but that won't be enough to save people's jobs and boost for changing power. >> for many years, there was no
reason to worry, but those times are over. indonesia's dependency on exports has made it vulnerable. it's main market for coal is china and the amount has gone down dramatically. indonesia's ability is affect by the high price of the dollar, while sails of cars and north bikes have been up for years be now county 20%. >> in previous years, we would sell up to 20 cars a day, but today, we haven't sold more than four. it has gone down dramatically. >> the government is trying to improve the economy by launching huge infrastructure projects and limiting expensive imports. >> the asian financial crise that resulted in major economic reforms under the provision of the i.m.f., reforms in the
banking sector, basically the corporate sector has become a lot more prudent. >> many are worried. they want the government to ensure that the economy can grow stronger again, something badly needed to take millions out of poverty. al jazeera, west jar have a. >> private bond holders agreed to cut the debt by 20% just under $16 billion. ukraine will have four more years to repay the money, but russia, owed $3 billion won't take part in the restructuring plan. >> indigenous activists in australia claim victory in their fight for affordable housing in sydney. the government has now agreed to help finance low cost homes. andrew tomas reports.
>> the standoff here has been chiefly about timing. the company that wants to develop the site, just a couple of kilometers away said they built affordable housing only once they finished shop offices and student housel. they feared that meant housing for them could be a decade or more away, perhaps never and wouldn't leave. court cases have gone against the protestors and it looked as though they could be forcibly evicted. now the government that stepped in and commit $4 million to start the building of affordable housing. the developer hasn't committed to that yet, but the pressure is on them to agree, meaning a peaceful end to this protest is likely. this camp has been manned continuously for 15 months. the organizer told me she was proud of what people achieved.
>> house to house, container by container, it's dengue fever season in new delhi and this is what council workers are looking for, larvae carrying mosquito. it's a tedious, time consuming process. one council members say they shouldn't have to do in the first place. >> the people we have so much deng five is carelessness. people let water stand. that's why we have this problem. >> council workers are meant to inspect this neighborhood once a week, but people say their visits around that regular. it's not just time between inspections that's the problem. >> it's difficult for us to live here. when it rains, the drains overflow and our homes fill with water. it's hard for us to live this way and then there are diseases.
>> during the annual monsoon season, hospital wards across india filled with dengue fever patients. a report by indian and american researchers last year estimated the cost of the viral disease to india to be more than $1 billion a year. it also said the government maybe grossly underreporting its prevalence. >> the burden dengue fever places on the health care system is made worst by the fact that there's no vaccine for the disease. treatment is only sometime symptom takes. >> in this ward in new delhi, dr. jeanette stevens treats patients. some arrive with common flu like symptoms. others in a tar more critical condition require emergency medical treatment. >> if people are educated, and if we prevent in our locality, then there can be much reduction
in the number of dengue fever cases. >> millions of indians particularly the poor are exposed to dengue fever. keeping the danger away is a logistical challenge. the danger remains even after the fog of the treatment clears. >> more than a billion people are affected by so-called neglected tropical diseases. why are they neglected? >> they are affecting the most vulnerable people, the poorest people, the ones they don't receive tort the services. one is access to the provision of safe water, the provision of sanitation, and having access to a good hygiene. this is one of the causes of one
of those diseases in the fact that they live in post and terrible conditions. >> it's an expensive drug required here. it's a simple fix, just clean water and sanitation. >> well, actually, a lot of progress has been done in the fight against neglected tropical diseases in the past five years, by increasing access to certain drugs, which are more a question of dripping r. bringing those drugs to the community, most donated. that's not the problem. now the question is address one of the most critical elements for the prevention and management of those neglected tropical diseases, access to clean water, access to sanitation to make sure that the environment is not contaminate and therefore those elements will not be transmitted for is about having clean water for the treatment of those patients affected by diseases, those
terrible diseases for which joining forces between the wash water and sanitation and hygiene community and great tropical diseases, we are convinced will bring a lot of good in public health benefits. >> the world health organization, united nations have been banging on about this issue of clean water and sanitation access to it for many years now. is progress being made? >> progress has been made. in fact, if you look at the m.d.g.'s report that unicef produce every year, telling us how much we are progressing, we have reached the target for access to clean water, however, we are still missing the target for sanitation. we still have 2.4 billion people around the world without access to sanitation, and we have
1 billion people practicing defecation in the open. as you can imagine, this is contribute be enormously to the bad health of the people, contributing to childhood diarrhea and malnutrition, because there is a lack of clean water and the children to be malnourished. bringing access to safe water and sanitation will be a key way to fight diseases. >> many thanks, indeed. time now for sport. here's joe. >> thank you. >> bolt has proved himself to be the fastest sprinter in the world winning a second gold medal in beijing.
when it came down to the medal race, bolt stole the victory over the american. it's a record fourth time he's won and a 10th world championship gold. he could win an 11th as part of jamaica's relay team. >> the american clinch would the 400 meters, posting the fastest time in the world this year. it's the united states third gold of the championships. >> poland picked up its second hammer gold medals breaking the record twice. no medals for kenya thursday but remain atop the standings with six gold, united states in
second followed by jamaica and great britain. >> south africa will name its squad on friday and racial makeup will be heavily scrutinized. officials have been accused of not including enough black players. we have this report. >> south africa's biggest township soweto is officially football territory. slowly, rugby is making in-roads. this 12-year-old has played for two years. his interest is driven by the soweto rugby union. it wants to develop the sport in the township. >> i want to play and be famous. >> achieving his dream may not be easy. the local union said this is the only playable field.
>> by the time you finish, who's going to play in those facilities? because there's no support for programs or for events to take place. >> the spring box are one of the best teams in the world, but their recent performances have been overshadowed by criticism that the team does not have enough black players. >> the spring box won their second world cup in 2007 with just two black players on the squad. now as the box prepare for next month's championship in england, the rails debate has resurfaced, with the current squad having only four black players. the coach said he chooses players based on merit, not color. >> the south african rugby union claims more than 80% of the under eight teams are black.
>> there is a glass ceiling because of the attitudes of conservative white coaches who feel that maybe black players are not good enough as their white counterparts are, and for me, that is a massive mindset change that's needed. >> the union says it has a chance formation plan is place to have non-whites make of half of its national team by 2019. >> there is as feeling amongst a lot of white people that rugby is maybe the last institution in our society where they can express themselves where they can sort of represent south africa. there is a jealous guarding of rugby, but it's not one that is done deliberately to out of the black people. >> while south africa makes final preparations for the world cup, the teams biggest challenge may not be defeating its
opponents on the field, but instead, the task of racial transformation. al jazeera, johannesburg. >> only six black players have ever represented south africa's national cricket team. the first was in 1998. domestic cricket franchises are required to have six non-white players in their side, but no quota's exist at an international level. it's a different story in football. the fifa world cup squad contains just one white player. >> champions league will take place after the final teams were decided from the playoffs. man city won 4-0 wednesday to record a 7-1 aggregate win. a hat trick plus a goal from
herrera means they will be in the draw. these are the other teams top advance from the playoffs. >> serena williams goes for a grand slam next week and is tuning up for the challenge in new york. ♪ >> the world's number one hit a high note at this karaoke event. she holds all three of the grand slams this year, making this year's open more important. she is happy to play it down for now. >> it is, but i'm ok with it. i'm really not even talking about it, trying to ignore the
elephant in the room and hopefully it wilman fest itself. >> that's all the sport for now. >> once a year, the world's biggest, best, tallest, shortest and weirdest gather in one place, the guinness world book of records. the first-ever edition was published 60 years ago and the latest edition hits the book shelves next month. paul brennan reports. >> it was in the early 1950s at a shoot be party in ireland where there was an argument over which was of the fastest european game bird. nobody new the answer. he commissioned a reference book to resolve the dispute. here is that first edition from 1955. in the 60 years since, at this office here in central london, guinness has become the definitive book of the fastest and the first, the best and the biggest. >> there are surprising nuggets.
mount everest is well known as the world's highest mountain. the world's tallest mountain is on who way, rising more than 10,000 meters from the sea bed. it's the human records of endurance, strength and sometimes sheer eccentricity which make the world record book different. >> we've had the mandate of covering the wide spectrums. the first first book, you find pipe smoking marathons and rocking chair marathons as well as the tallest man, heaviest people, highest mountains. every year, we monitor it. we're becoming more and more open to people's ideas. >> in an age where book sales have fallen, guinness world records has sold 134 million
copies in 21 languages across 120 countries. it holds the record of being the book which is most often stolen from libraries in the united states. thousands apply to be included, but few chosen to be globally recognized. >> everywhere i've been, they're impressed with what i've done, but that i then was in the book just added so much, and for my agent, where he tries to sell me, jan is a guinness record holder. >> no one has grown taller than the man who grew 2.7 meters tall. on the fastest bird, it's neither. it's jointly held between others. >> fantastic. paul brennan having the time of his life. that's it for the news hour, thank you very much indeed for watching. i'll be back with another bulletin of news straight ahead.